Living in Low Serotonin World.
Is it something that only I am imagining about or is it something that we all experience everyday? It has become so prevalent in today’s life that we fail to notice it. Or we have imbibed it so well that it now flows in our vein. I just noticed it today as I experienced an overdose of it that led my mind to ponder over it.
I went out in my balcony to get the soothing morning breeze when I saw my neighbor screaming over the vegetable vendor. I did not want to upset my morning enthusiasm and so I retired back to my room shutting the door. Back there I found my husband getting agitated and loosing his temper over some issue on his early morning phone meeting. I opened the door to get hold of morning newspaper when I found my other neighbor pouring her anger on milkman over a torn packet of milk. While dropping my daughters for school bus, I noticed one well dressed lady dragging her son angrily as she was getting late for work. The little boy wanted to go at his comfortable pace and enjoy the walk. Later after breakfast, I found myself losing my temper over my maid as she was again late and the sight of dirty dishes in the sink was elevating my adrenaline level.
So, the day started with angry morning. It would not be an exaggeration if I jump to the conclusion that we live in angry times. We are accoutered with all the facilities to make our life simple, but what we get is an even tougher life. We have fast time efficient equipments, but no one has the time. Our attitudes are coarsening. We lack politeness, are inconsiderate to other’s feelings, always ready to argue, to take exceptions, to push, to barge and be indecent. The traditional virtues of consideration and decency, tolerance and reserve, patience and slowness have given its way to anger.
Everything is in plenty. We have more money and more facilities. Life should have been more serene under today’s comfort. But it is not. The thin veneer of plenty hides the volcanic minefield of stress and anxiety. New gadgets make it even worse. A handy laptop computer means that most of the weekend and evening after work are dedicated to reports and schedules. Mobile phones often disrupt the family dinner and the mealtime turns in to a business meeting.
Society has turned in to a competitive structure where one is judged by his achievements. We have everything but we are never satisfied. We do not live our lives but try to live the ideal life that others set for us. We are in a mad rush to achieve and achieve more. Leaving everyone behind and staying on the top of the ladder. The ladder of success and achievements never ends and while we keep climbing over it, life is left behind at the ground. When reached on the top, we are empty-handed. We keep running on the treadmill of ambition and money and at last we come to realize that having it all is hazardous to a happy life- to our family, our relationships and even to our career.
There is so much of competition that even our leisure time has become competitive. We want to make best use of these leisure times too. When was the last time when we enjoyed our favorite music or read our favorite book? We have left the simple ways to relax and have opted for “competitive relaxation”. No more we take our kids out to park and enjoy taking stroll with them. It is outdated style of relaxation. It is not fancy and up to the social status mark. Much better way would be taking them to amusement park where you can show off your social and financial status. While the kids are enjoying their ride, you can indulge in business talk over your mobile.
Calling business partners over dinner on weekends are preferred to a silent family dinner. Going for squash or pool game after work is more of a client liaison than relaxation. Even in relaxing time, you have the pressure to be best and make the most out of it.
It is not a surprising fact that scientific studies have shown that our neurotransmitter serotonin, which is a natural thermostat, is on decline. This neurotransmitter is secreted when we are in active happy state of mind. It is secreted when we feel happy about ourselves and life around us. We live under “ fight or flight” situations and so our adrenaline keeps elevating and rushing us. The pressure at work and family commitments expresses out in frustration, anger and depression.
There is a constant increase in social disasters. We have more divorces, unhappy marriages, more depressed youth population and more and more people going for drugs and drinks. Both spouses working at such demanding pressure is the recipe of most of these disasters. Parenting does not come out of natural instinct but out of competitive demands leaving heart broken kids and overwhelmed parents. Parents spend time to choose a toy which has multipurpose- keeps the child busy, is educative and aids in cognitive development and so on………..where is the simple pleasure of having a toy to just ‘play’?
We are expected to be a multitasker. We hate to come in terms with any mediocrity in our life. We want the best, so we judge a lot before we choose- whether it is a gadget or a prospective relationship.
There has been a constant rise in people going for spiritual practices. Most of them embark for spiritual path because they find their personal life in mess. The big question is – How one starts with a spiritual journey without cleaning up the personal grossness and mess?
We are always rushing for big things, not noticing the little joys around us. We do not have quality time for our hobbies, our relationships, family, our friends and ourselves. We go by the rules of modern society of ‘achievers’ and ‘losers’. We do not want to lose. We have to achieve, meet the deadlines, be a right place with right people at right time and always boast of a pleasant smile on a winner’s face.
In a race to hold our grip over the ladder of success and social achievements, we let life slip off our hand.